Top 10 Highest Paid Female Chief Executives

Here is the list of highest paid female chief executives of the 500 biggest US companies.

Irene B. Rosenfeld

Kraft Foods
One-year total compensation: $16.7 million

Rosenfeld, 56, ranks as the highest-paid female chief executive on our list. The past year, her fourth as CEO, landed Rosenfeld in the spotlight when she launched a hostile takeover of British candy maker Cadbury. The $19 billion deal angered U.K. lawmakers and drew the ire of Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway is Kraft's largest investor. Nonplussed, Rosenfeld is moving forward and plans to use Cadbury's distribution network in India and Mexico to sell more Kraft products.

Susan M. Ivey

Reynolds American
One-year total compensation: $11.8 million

Ivey, now in her sixth year as chief executive, is the first woman to run a major tobacco company. Faced with declining cigarette sales, the 51-year-old is trying to shore up the company's bottom line by offering smokeless tobacco products. Reynolds is now offering Camel Snus, pouches of spit-free oral tobacco and Camel Strips, thin tobacco wafers that melt on the tongue. Ivey, a smoker since college, has worked in the tobacco industry for 29 years.

Carol M. Meyrowitz

One-year total compensation: $11.1 million

Meyrowitz runs one of the few retail chains that have fared well in the recession. Same-store sales for discount shops T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods rose by double digits for most of the past six months, and in March the company's stock hit an all-time high. Meyrowitz, 56, is in her third year as chief executive and credits the company's positioning, smart advertising (its "Maxxinista" ads are hit with consumers) and a wider selection of merchandise with the increase in sales.

Indra K. Nooyi

One-year total compensation: $10.7 million

The 16-year PepsiCo veteran is now entering her fifth year as chief executive. During her tenure, Nooyi has pushed the company to add healthier products to its beverage and snack lines. As PepsiCo's chief strategist, she helped orchestrate the company's $3 billion acquisition of Tropicana in 1998 and its $14 billion takeover of Quaker Oats in 2001. In March the 54-year-old CEO pledged to remove all of the company's sugary drinks from schools by 2012 and will reduce salt in some of its biggest brands over the next five years.

Andrea Jung

Avon Products
One-year total compensation: $9.1 million

It's been a tough year for the 51-year-old chief. Avon's profits fell 29% in 2009 while its revenue dropped 3% to $10.28 billion. In order to offset some of the losses, Jung, who's been CEO since 1999, is cutting jobs and trimming overhead. In April the company put four executives on administrative leave over allegations of bribery. The company's internal investigation, which initially focused on some Chinese executives, is now conducting compliance reviews in additional countries, including Latin America.

Patricia A. Woertz

Archer Daniels
One-year total compensation: $7.2 million

When Woertz, now 57, was tapped to be ADM's chief executive four years ago, she was the first outsider since 1970 to run the company. Woertz, a 29-year veteran of Chevron, has been leading the $18.2 billion market cap agriculture giant into the "new petroleum business," adding biodiesel and ethanol to the company's product offering mix.

Debra A. Cafaro

One-year total compensation: $6.2 million

Cafaro's company, a real estate investment trust that owns senior citizen housing, hospitals and medical offices, will likely benefit from the health care reform bill. The reason: adding 32 million additional people with health insurance will drive demand for new medical office space. Cafaro, 52, has served as Ventas' chief executive since 1999, and the REIT has flourished under her guidance and has been a boon for its investors: For the five-year period ending Dec. 31, 2009, Ventas had an annual total shareholder return of 15.6%.

Ellen J. Kullman

EI du Pont de Nemours
One-year total compensation: $5.4 million

Kullman's been at the chemicals manufacturing firm for 22 years, and has served as its CEO since January 2009. In her first year on the job, she oversaw two restructurings, laid off thousands of workers and made the remaining employees to take two to three weeks furlough. While it remains to be seen if the 54-year-old Kullman can restore Dupont to its former luster, she has nonetheless vowed to increase earnings per share by an average annual compound rate of at least 20% over the next three years.

Christina A. Gold

Western Union
One-year total compensation: $5.0 million

Demands for money transfers dwindled in the recession, but that didn't stop the 61-year-old chief executive from reaping a $1.4 million bonus this year--a 24% increase from the previous year's payout. Last month, after pressure from some key members in Congress, Gold agreed to reduce her company's fees on money transfers sent to earthquake-ravaged Haiti. The reduction will be in place until December 2010.(Profile)

Ursula M. Burns

One-year total compensation: $4.1 million

It didn't take long for this newly appointed CEO to take action. Last summer, then 51-year-old Burns announced the company's biggest transaction to date: a $6.4 billion acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services, a business-process outsourcing company. The move signaled Burn's plans to expand Xerox beyond its core technology business. The company's stock dropped immediately following the announcement, but has since returned to its pre-announcement price.


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